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Molecular phylogeny of Vipera Laurenti, 1768 and the related genera Macrovipera (Reuss, 1927) and Daboia (Gray, 1842), with comments about neurotoxic Vipera aspis aspis populations

Molecular phylogeny of Vipera Laurenti, 1768 and the related genera Macrovipera (Reuss, 1927) and Daboia (Gray, 1842), with comments about neurotoxic Vipera aspis aspis populations

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 35(1): 35-47

ISSN/ISBN: 1055-7903

PMID: 15737580

DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2004.11.004

We used mtDNA sequences (cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2) to reconstruct molecular phylogenies of Vipera sensu lato, Vipera sensu stricto, and Vipera aspis. Three major clades were identified within the Vipera s.l. group: (1) the European vipers, (2) the oriental vipers, consisting of Montivipera (Vipera 2) plus Macrovipera lebetina, and (3) a group of Asian and North African vipers consisting of Daboia russelii, V. palaestinae, and Macrovipera mauritanica. We also distinguished three clades within the monophyletic European Vipera group: V. ammodytes, V. aspis, and V. latastei, and Pelias with monophyly of Vipera 1 uncertain. Within V. aspis, the specimens collected in France formed the sister group of an Italian clade. The "neurotoxic" French population of V. aspis, which has a specific venom profile, separated from other French V. aspis early in the history of this group.

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Accession: 012323159

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